Sky on why advertisers should look to the big screen not the mobile screen

Sky’s director of media champions cinema over digital advertising on a “small screen”, as new research reveals the sectors with the most revenue return on investment to gain through increased cinema advertising spend.


The value of the highly engaged cinema audience for brands has long been argued but new research, released by Digital Cinema Media (DCM), puts figures behind those claims – setting out sectors that have the most to gain from increasing cinema’s share of media spend.

Sky is one brand that benefits from the power of film in attracting cinemagoers. The UK box office is predicted to close at £1.3bn this year, compared to £1,2bn in 2015.

Speaking at a DCM event this morning (28 November) Andrew Mortimer, director of media at Sky, said: “In a world where we are all worried about advertising context, cinema has some very compelling attributes.”

Cinema ads have the sound on, which “is a novelty for some advertisers”, ads are “100% in view, non-skippable and are still an integral part of the [cinema-going] experience”, according to Mortimer.

Mortimer said that the average cost per thousand across all cinema-buying groups with DCM is £27, given the average viewability of adverts and the impact of the large screen compared to a small mobile one, marketers should “do the math themselves”, he added.

“Apply those factors to video advertising or social news feeds and I personally think the £27 is good value for money,” he explained.

“If you believe in the quality of your content and spend a small amount of time doing the maths on the cost, I believe that after TV advertisers should be looking to the big screen rather than the small screen.”

READ MORE: How innovation and technology are changing the cinema experience for brands

DCM, which covers 81% of the cinema market, launched the second instalment of its ‘Building Box Office Brands’ study at the event.

It uses ROI insight from Benchmarketing, part of the Omnicom Media Group, which undertook a meta-analysis of its results vault and drew on combined learnings from more than 500 UK econometric models to investigate the impact of cinema on overall campaign ROI.

The findings reveal that advertisers in sectors including travel, FMCG and telecoms are currently under investing in cinema. By growing the share that cinema takes these advertisers could optimise their whole ad campaigns and see an increase in the returns delivered at an overall level.

The key takeaways from the research include:

  • If travel brands increased cinema’s share of the budget to 11%, from a current average share of 4.9%, it could see a revenue ROI at total campaign level of £2.70 for every £1, compared to £1.10 when cinema takes a smaller share of the campaign budget.
  • For food FMCG advertisers and investment of 6.8%, compared to the current average share of 2.8%, would drive optimal returns from the overall ad campaign to deliver £0.50 for every £1 invested.
  • Telecoms brands could increase their share of investment from 1.8% to 3%, to deliver a return of £2.90 for every £1 spent.
  • Retail advertisers who are cinema spenders on average are investing at the optimal levels, 2.6% share, for driving the strongest campaign ROI.
  • All services brands, including charity, entertainment and leisure, finance, retail, telecoms and travel, could increase share of investment from 1.5% to 2.7% to drive an optimal campaign ROI of £3.70 for every £1 spent.

Don’t take cinema advertising too far

But cinema is a long-term investment used for brand building. This creates added pressure for advertisers to get the balance right between creating compelling content for the big screen and ensuring audiences associate it with the what the brand is trying to sell.

Speaking at the event, Adam&EveDDB creative Miles Carter, who worked on John Lewis’s 2015 Christmas ad ‘Man on the moon’, said that although “more emotion is up for grabs” in cinema advertising “storytelling has become such a powerful tool there is the risk of taking it too far”.

He said: “While it is important you tell a good story you also have to remember you’re making an advert.”

Marketers looking to create advertising for cinema audiences shouldn’t see themselves as “Hollywood waiting to happen”, according to Carter, who said “there are some ads you see where the logo comes up and it’s a bit of a shock or worse ruins the ad”.

He added: “Without wanting to seem pointed, if your logo is coming up from the trenches of WW1 you could argue that something might have gone a bit awry.”



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